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Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is now saying that the country will not be selling its Hambantota deep sea port and the nearby Mattala International Airport to Chinese companies in exchange for debt relief. He states that claims to the contrary are “baseless” and specifically berated the Sri Lankan publication Daily FT for spreading them.

 

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) is holding its 59th session from November 7 to December 7 in Geneva, Switzerland. Sri Lanka was recently under the microscope of the committee and, to put it mildly, things did not go smoothly. The fact that Sisira Mendis, Sri Lanka’s chief of national intelligence, participated the two-day affair didn’t help matters.

 

But since Sri Lanka’s long civil war ended in 2009, this remote hamlet in north-central Polonnaruwa District finds itself facing vexing new worries: more extreme weather linked to climate change, and shortages of both land and water.

 
 

The 52-year-old’s own wake-up call came in 2014, when she sold Odel, three decades after she had founded the store. By then, the single shop had expanded into a retail empire. Gunawardene had initially taken accounting lessons from her brother to read financial statements and balance sheets, but her business sense came intuitively. She travelled all over the world, sourcing products and designs seldom found in the region.

 

In recent years our image has suffered because of the unfortunate war, but now an opportunity has emerged for us to regain our lost image and once again play a role in the affairs of the world.

 

A high percentage of Sri Lankan Muslim families get their girls married off before they attain 18 - the statutory age of marriage in Sri Lanka, according a new study entitled: Unequal Citizens: Muslim Women’s Struggle for Justice and Equality written by Hyshyama Hamin and Hasanah Cegu Isadeen. 

 

Sri Lanka has in some circles been considered a model of post-colonial gender equality compared to its South Asian counterparts due to high literacy rates for men and women, 97.7 and 98.6 respectively, universal franchise for both sexes as early as 1931, and two female state leaders.  Sri Lanka’s long history of free and compulsory education for boys and girls which was achieved shortly after independence, and girls’ equal access to education and gender parity in all three levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary) of education has been an important contributing factor to this idea of gender equality.

 

However, the party says it has to exceed the limit now because there is a rush for membership. This is a party formed with the blessings of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is expected to be led by him at one point. However, for the time being, Mr. Rajapaksa has not made any public commitment to that effect publicly.

 

However, to get them off the ground, one needs money and we should not antagonize those with deep pockets. The simple logic in international relations is that countries take decisions driven by their self-interest, mindful of their placement in the international system, and existing and unfolding power configurations within the system.    

 
 

Last month, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Colombo that the country's new constitution, currently being framed by a steering committee of parliamentarians, will protect the special place accorded to Buddhism in the existing document.

 


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